Football: Quinn returns for European double-header please

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The Independent Online
NIALL QUINN has recovered from injury and is back in the Republic of Ireland squad for back-to-back European Championship qualifying group eight games next month.

Quinn is included in the 20-man list to play Yugoslavia in Belgrade on 10 October and Malta at Lansdowne Road four days later. He last played in the friendly against Argentina in April before a niggling back injury forced him on to the sidelines.

Quinn, who has 63 caps, scored for Sunderland against Norwich City in Tuesday's 2-2 draw in the First Division.

Portsmouth's plans to move to a new pounds 20m stadium have been dashed after Railtrack yesterday rejected the club's pounds 10m offer to buy a site next to Fratton Park. The First Division club made their bid to buy the 30- acre Fratton goods yard site with a view to building a massive retail development on the land to foot the bill for the new 30,000 all-seater stadium.

Now, with the Railtrack decision also ruling out the possibility of re- developing Fratton Park by turning it through 90 degrees, Portsmouth face the prospect of having to scale down their plans or look for a new home elsewhere.

A Railtrack spokesman said: "We do not think the club's proposals are achievable. We want to see the site developed but the proposals are so way off the mark of the local planning brief and national guidelines that we do not think they will possibly gain planning permission."

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Mathias Svensson from the Austrian side FC Tirol for an undisclosed fee. They are also hoping to lure the Rangers centre-back Craig Moore to the club.

Sheffield United yesterday denied reports that Benfica have satisfied Fifa, world football's governing body, regarding the outstanding payments for Brian Deane, the former Blades striker. The Bramall Lane chairman, Mike McDonald, issued a statement saying Benfica should pay all the money owed after failing to meet February and April instalments. United claim they have only received one payment, in August 1998, and they also say that the president of the Portuguese club had guaranteed to meet the full cost of the transfer by the end of July if any instalments were not paid. United are planning to enforce the personal guarantee from Benfica and they have informed Fifa of the developments.

Tranmere Rovers are keen to sign the veteran Scottish striker John McGinlay on a free transfer. Their manager, John Aldridge, is interested in McGinlay, who has left Bradford City after terminating his contract, and plans to persuade him to join his struggling team.

Aldridge hopes to speak to McGinlay today. The former Scotland international is currently on trial at Preston.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (v Yugoslavia, 10 Oct, and Malta, 14 Oct, European Qualifying Group Eight): Given (Newcastle United), Kiely (Bury), Irwin (Man United), Kenna (Blackburn), Staunton (Liverpool), Harte (Leeds), Cunningham (Wimbledon), Babb (Liverpool), Breen (Coventry), Keane (Man United), Kinsella (Charlton), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Carsley (Derby), McAteer (Liverpool), Kennedy (Wimbledon), Cascarino (Nancy), Quinn (Sunderland), Duff (Blackburn), Keane (Wolverhampton), Delap (Derby).